(Old Spice Man’s Response to Alyssa Milano)
Brianne Janacek is a Senior Strategic Planner at SaatchiNY. Below are some of her thoughts on lessons to be learned from the recent Old Spice social media blitz.
Unless you were hiding under a rock last month, you probably heard about, read about or saw the Old Spice videos that took YouTube by storm. In them, the protagonist “Old Spice Man” used YouTube to personally respond to questions and comments posted by real people in the social media community via Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and a number of other sites.
Question: “Porknog asks on Reddit – “Dear Old Spice Man, How many times should I lather, rinse and repeat? My wife says I’m going to get a rash if I keep this up.”
Response: “Well, Porknog, you should count yourself lucky to have the loving companionship of a lady person. Please tell your wife the rashes are not a concern, but too much Old Spice body wash could result in her heart exploding . . .”
As you can see from that transcript and the above video, the results were hilariously entertaining. And the response to the videos was immediate – a massive blitz of sharing, re-posting, commenting and tweeting. If you weren’t already convinced of the power social media holds for engaging people with brands, this campaign makes it almost impossible to deny.
Here are a few reasons why it was so successful.
IT WAS PERSONALIZED
Let’s be honest, deep down everyone wants to be a little bit famous, even if only for a moment. And that’s what makes social media so appealing. It enables people to feel missed and followed, which gives them a sense of self-importance. Some of the brilliance of this idea was that it tapped into this underlying truth and gave people a moment of fame. Once they got it, they were compelled to share.
PEOPLE SPREAD IT THEMSELVES
My guess is that it blew up more than anyone at Old Spice even imagined. Old Spice didn’t have to direct people to where the videos were or even create a micro site where they would live. They placed them in a context where people are already sharing on their own —YouTube.
The videos were so entertaining that people wanted to share them and participate themselves. The brand let the people do the heavy-lifting, and it worked brilliantly. Even celebrities and other brands got in on the action — Ellen DeGeneres, Christina Applegate, Alyssa Milano, Starbucks, and even Gillette. No doubt, their networks are much larger than the average social media user, so the virility was massive, taking participation to a whole new level. Total views on Old Spice’s YouTube Channel – over 135 million.
All of those views are translating into sales. According to AdWeek, Old Spice Body Wash sales numbers went up 107% in the month after the video blitz. On a more personal note, I have firsthand experience with how the work affected two people in Old Spice’s target audience. The last time my boyfriend and I were in the store, he said, “Hey I’m out of soap. Where’s that new Old Spice stuff?” They also had a huge impact on his 14 year-old brother. He’s just beginning to try out personal grooming products, and after watching the videos with us . . . I’m pretty sure that the next time he heads to the store with his mom he’ll be requesting Old Spice products by name.